26% of Winnipeg missing person cases came from 30 people, say police

About 26 per cent of missing person cases in Winnipeg this fall were for multiple reports about 30 people, and 66 per cent of cases were reported by group homes, according to a new police report.

Top 36 addresses with most missing persons incidents were child-welfare facilities, report says

The Winnipeg Police Service's latest report on the safety and protection of indigenous women and girls says 85 per cent of missing person cases were reported by CFS facilities, with 66 per cent from group homes. (CBC)

About 26 per cent of missing person cases in Winnipeg this fall came from just 30 people who repeatedly disappeared, and 66 per cent of cases were reported by group homes, a new police report states.

The Winnipeg Police Service's latest report on the safety and protection of indigenous women and girls says 2,488 missing persons cases involving 732 people were reported in the third quarter of 2015.

The report said during that period, 30 people had 15 or more missing persons reports, accounting for 26 per cent of all cases in the quarter.

Vast majority of missing persons are in CFS

About 71 per cent of missing persons reports were habitual or chronic cases, 70 per cent were female, and 85 per cent were reported by CFS facilities. About 66 per cent of reports came from group homes.

Citywide, the top 36 addresses — which had 15 or more missing person incidents — were CFS facilities, the report says.

In September, the police service said about four out of five missing person reports it receives every month involve children and youth in CFS care.

Deputy chief Danny Smyth told members of the Winnipeg Police Board on Friday that there are 10,000 children and youth in care, so it's a "big issue for society to deal with."

He added that 40 per cent of children in care are indigenous, and he sees potential solutions such as the Manitoba government's proposal to give indigenous communities more say in child welfare.

"I think it may well prevent them from being placed in a group home altogether, because they would be staying with members of their own community or extended family," Smyth said.

"A lot of the numbers that you're seeing are kids cutting and running from a group home, even if it's for a short period and then returning."

The deputy chief added that the high number of CFS children who are reported missing can be partly explained by the control workers can exercise over them.

"These aren't jails, right? They're places for them to reside," he said.

"There's no expectation on the workers to physically restrain them, so it's not difficult if kids don't abide by their curfew. But it's incumbent that they're reported missing, even if it's just for a short period."

Smyth said police are now sharing overnight reports with staff at CFS facilities to help track down missing children and youth quickly.

Police initiatives also detailed

The latest report also detailed police initiatives targeting sexual exploitation, including a program aimed at deterring people visiting Winnipeg for the Grey Cup from buying sex.

The police service did not have any statistical or anecdotal reports available Friday on sex trafficking during the Grey Cup festivities.

Mobile users: View the document
(Text KB)
CBC is not responsible for 3rd party content

With files from the CBC's Sean Kavanagh